William Holman Gallery
New York
65 Ludlow Street
Farideh Sakhaeifar
dal 26/5/2015 al 9/7/2015

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William Holman Gallery


Farideh Sakhaeifar

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Farideh Sakhaeifar

William Holman Gallery , New York

Sacrosanct. For the exhibition the artist presents photography, sound installation, and video used to explore the social injustices and political unrest in her native country of Iran.

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In Sacrosanct, Farideh Sakhaeifar’s first solo show with William Holman Gallery, works in photography, sound installation, and video are used to explore the social injustices and political unrest in her native country of Iran. Inspired by Paulo Freire’s 1968 book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the exhibition challenges propagandized images and censored narratives through the artist’s disruption of these systems.

Sakhaeifar writes, “To maintain totalitarian power, it is necessary to control the people not only through terror and surveillance, but also through manipulating beliefs and, in this case, religious behaviors.” In Iran, the repetitions of religious and political slogans, which orally or visually praise the ruling elite, have been used to reinforce of conservative ideologies within the public.

The installation Pedal mimics Iranian leaders’ totalitarian control over the public. An 8 x 16 foot wall collage composed of found images shows the faithful gathered in a crowd to listen to Iran’s Supreme Leader. In front of the collage, a foot pedal rests on an elevated, carpeted stage. When the pedal is compressed, a recording of applause sounds from the crowd, reflecting the theatrical dynamic between power and the people. Sakhaeifar has erased the images of the Supreme Leader in the posters held by the crowd. The blank pictures embody the hollowness of idolatry, and the superficiality of forced and propagandized events around world.

Sakhaeifar argues that the hegemonic vacuum is so powerful, that even when the leadership fails, it can only be replaced by another totalitarian establishment. In Toppled, a bronze sculpture of a leader is shown with a noose around his neck, suggesting the transitional moment in which the statue of a leader is destroyed by the public. In this moment, power is temporarily dispersed, and the simmering rage and frustration of the oppressed boils over. Public frustration becomes directed in the only way possible, towards the idolatrous imagery and propaganda of the leadership and its destruction.

Tehran a loud, an installation, explores the preservation and destruction of memory by the ruling class. A map of Tehran has been transferred to two pieces of plywood; cut from the wood are the locations of violent protests that took place in Tehran in 2009. Sakhaeifar has eradicated these spaces from the physical map, symbolizing the government’s denial of the protests and its attempt to manipulate memory. On the opposite wall, a 9-channel video shows each location with silent, empty streets. The government had erased the violent uprising; in the videos of the following days the only clue of trouble is the uncanny absence of people.

The destruction and manipulation of history reappears in Sakhaeifar’s series of ten photographic collages entitled NASA/ISIS (each in an edition of six). The works juxtapose found images of ISIS bombing historic monuments and mosques in Iraq, with images of crowds watching NASA launching of rockets into space at Cape Canaveral. The series alludes to the voyeuristic relationship between the US and Middle Eastern countries, where sanctions, oppression, control, and war have been a constant presence.

A direct response to daily life in Tehran, Sacrosanct explores the challenges of these realities as Sakhaeifar looks through the forms of ethnic, political, and cultural control, in order to visually express the struggle for autonomy and responsibility.

Image: Farideh Sakhaeifar, Nasa Isis 3, 2014, photo collages, 5x6 inches

Opening: Wed May 27 6pm

William Holman Gallery
65 Ludlow Street, New York
Mon - Fri 10:30am to 6:30pm

Farideh Sakhaeifar
dal 26/5/2015 al 9/7/2015

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